Hamilton County


Capt. Alonzo N. Hathway Jr.



Two Webster City Servicemen Missing.


Webster City Flier Said to Have Been Shot Down Feb. 14.

Lt. Alonzo N. Hathway, son of Dr. and Mrs. G. T. McCauliff of this city, is missing in action somewhere in the southwest Pacific, according to word received here from the marine flier’s wife now living at Long Beach, Cal.

No official report has been received from the marine corps by either his parents or his wife, but two of the lieutenant’s fellow fliers wrote back to their wives that the Webster City flier had been shot down in air combat on Feb. 14.

No Traces Found

The fliers, longtime friends of Hathway and who had flown with him since early training days, added that searches made since he was first reported shot down had failed to reveal any trace of the missing fighter pilot.

Lieutenant Hathway had been in service for nearly two years and took his early training at New Orleans. In December, 1942, he received his wings and commission at Pensacola, Fla.

The Webster City aviator was last heard from in a letter dated Feb. 14, in which he wrote to his wife that he was going on a mission. Dr. and Mrs. McCauliff last heard from their son in a letter written Feb. 10 in which he said his air combat unit was serving right behind initial attack forces in the allies’ island to island campaign against the Japanese.

With Fleet Air Wing

Lt. Hathway served with a fleet air wing aboard an aircraft carrier, though he had been based at several island locations.

News that her husband was missing was received by Mrs. Hathway shortly after the birth of a son, March 7, at Los Angeles. The youngster has been named Alonzo Newton Hathway.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Mar. 13, 1944 (photo included)


Parents Receive Message Lt. A. N. Hathway Is Missing.

An official notice that their son, Lt. Alonzo N. Hathway, 25, marine corps flier, was missing in action, was received Monday evening by Dr. and Mrs. G. T. McCauliff of this city.

A telegram from Lt. Gen. A. A. Vandegrift, commandant of the marine corps, notified the aviator’s parents that their son was “missing in action in the performance of his duty and services of his country,” but no details were immediately available.

Monday, Mr. and Mrs. McCauliff announced that they had received word from their son’s wife in California that fellow fliers of Lieutenant Hathway had sent back word they had seen the Webster City combat pilot shot down in action on Feb. 14, somewhere in the south Pacific.

Searches made since that date have failed to reveal any trace of the missing flier, his buddies wrote their wives who in turn notified Mrs. Hathway.

Hathway, a first lieutenant, received his wings in December, 1942 at Pensacola, Fla. He was serving with an air combat unit somewhere in the south Pacific battle theater and was attached to a fleet air wing aboard an aircraft carrier.

Source: Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, IA - March 14, 1944


Missing Marine Flier Is Honored With the Flying Cross.

First Lt. Alonzo N. Hathway, Webster City marine flier who was reported missing in action nearly a year ago, has been awarded the distinguished flying cross “for heroism and extraordinary achievement” his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Guy McCauliff, have been notified.

The marine flier’s wife, who lives at Silver Springs, Md, has sent Dr. and Mrs. McCauliff a copy of the citation and letter from marine corps headquarters in which it is stated that the decoration and citation will be held at marine headquarters, Washington, D. C., “for Lieutenant Hathway in case he should be available for presentation of this award at some time in the future.”

An Official Copy

The official copy of the citation from James Forrestal, secretary of the navy, said the award has been made “for service as set forth in the following citation:

“For heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as member of marine torpedo bombing squadron two thirty-three during operations against enemy Japanese land installations and shipping in the Solomon Islands-New Britain area from Nov. 1, to Dec. 10, 1943 and from Jan. 16 to Feb. 14, 1944.

“After taking part in numerous attacks and scoring direct hits on enemy airfields at Lakunai, Vunakanau and Tobera, First Lieutenant Hathway set out on Feb. 14, on a night aerial mine-laying mission in Simpson harbor, Rabaul, and, displaying expert flying skill and indomitable courage, made a long, level flight at slow air speed and at precariously low altitude directly over solid concentrations of heavy, automatic anti-aircraft weapons and searchlights.

“Spotted by numerous Japanese searchlights before reaching his objective and forced to maneuver his plane through intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire from both shore and ship batteries, he remained steadfast on his course and, despite severe damage to his plane, released his mine in its assigned position. First Lieutenant Hathway’s superb airmanship and unswerving devotion to duty in the face of grave peril were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States naval service.”

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA – Jan. 22, 1945


Capt. Alonzo Hathway W. C. Marine, Missing a Year.

Capt. Alonzo N. Hathway, Webster City marine flier who was reported missing Feb. 14, 1944, is now presumed to be dead, his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Guy McCauliff, have been notified in messages from marine corps headquarters.

Captain Hathway was lost on a dangerous mine-laying mission in Simpson harbor, Rabaul and was honored with the distinguished flying cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement in flying his torpedo bomber through a deadly hail of ship and shore anti-aircraft fire and placing his mine despite severe damage to his ship. He failed to return from the raid.

After being carried on the missing list for more than a year, the captain is now officially listed as dead, a marine corps message received by his parents reports. Dr. and Mrs. McCauliff have also received a fine letter from Lt. Gen. A. A. Vandegrift, commander of the marine corps who sent a message of consolation and also of praise of Captain Hathway’s high standard of achievement.

A member of the Marine Torpedo Bomber Squadron 233, the Webster City flier had taken part in many effective raids on Jap shipping and air fields in the Solomon islands and New Britain area. He was advanced to captain for his part in the Feb. 14 raid, a dangerous, night-time assault.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA – Feb. 26, 1945

Alonzo Newton Hathway, Jr., Capt. U.S. Marine Corps - MIA/KIA

Alonzo N. Hathway, Jr. was born about 1919 to Alonzo Newton, Sr. and Gladys Hathway. He died Feb. 15, 1945 and is memorialized at the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines. He has a cenotaph at Graceland Cemetery, Webster City, IA.

Capt. Hathway was a pilot who flew the Grumman Avenger TBF-1 Torpedo Bomber assigned to the Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 233 based at Munda Point Airfield in the central Solomon Islands.

He was reported missing in action, lost at sea, Feb. 14, 1944, and officially declared as killed in action Feb. 15, 1945. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.

Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA
World War II Memorial
World War II Memorial Honoree